Skip the Line: Crypts and Roman Catacombs Small-Group Walking Tour

Rome, Italy

Experience Rating
    
icon3 hours 30 minutes  (Approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 2 more
Overview

Go underground to see Rome’s ancient catacombs and crypts on a half-day tour. Visit the Domitilla Catacomb and Basilica of San Clemente with skip-the-line access, plus visit the Capuchin Crypt, where you’ll see a Caravaggio painting and marvel at a chapel made entirely out of human bones. Learn about past burial customs and secret Christian worship spots during this fascinating exploration into the history of Rome.
  • See Caravaggio’s St Francis in Meditation painting in the Capuchin Crypt Museum
  • Learn about the Capuchin monks who used human bones to build and decorate their crypt
  • Visit the Domitilla Catacombs underneath the Appian Way
  • Explore the Basilica of San Clemente and see Rome’s history displayed through layers of architecture

Why Travelers Choose This Tour

Visit the Capuchin crypt and two lesser-known gems—all with priority access.

Professional guide
Air-conditioned vehicle
Skip the Line Access
Group of 22 people max
Gratuities
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Food and drinks, unless specified

Departure Point

Fontana del Tritone, Piazza Barberini, 00187 Roma RM, Italy

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Your walking tour starts at Piazza Barberini, where you’ll meet your guide and board and air-conditioned coach to the Christian Catacombs.

Hear about the history of the Appian Way, including the catacombs that make up nearly 186 miles (300 km) of underground tunnels. Learn how they were used as burial chambers by early Christians, as well as secret places to worship when Christianity was prohibited in Rome, as you enter one of the largest — the Domitilla Catacomb (Catacomb di Santa Domitilla) — with skip-the-line access. Head below ground with your guide to discover what lies beneath the Eternal City, including wall paintings and a 12th-century church.

Next, your coach will take you to Basilica of San Clemente, which is made up of three structures from the last 2000 years built on top of one another. Skip the entrance line outside and go straight in with your guide to take in the different eras of Roman history and see Renaissance frescoes and mosaics.

End your tour at the Capuchin Crypt at the Church of Santa Maria della Concezione. First see the crypt museum, home to St Francis in Meditation, a painting by Caravaggio, as well as other artifacts about Italy’s patron saint, St Francis. Then walk into the crypt, where you’ll find small chapels made entirely out of the bones of Capuchin monks. Learn about the history and significance of this unusual design aesthetic before returning to ground level. Your tour ends here, where you may stay on your own to explore more, if you wish.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini
Escape the noise and heat of Rome as you explore its cryptic past on the city’s longest running crypts and catacombs tour. Beat the heat with air-conditioned travel and Skip-the-Line access directly down into cool, shadowed spaces that hide layer upon layer of history. First, you’ll visit the hallowed catacombs where, beneath their persecutors’ feet, early Christians practiced their forbidden faith. Almost 2,000 years ago, this secret network of tunnels doubled as a place of worship and burial ground. As you explore tombs carved out of solid rock, your guide – a local, expert English-speaker – will relate the fascinating history of this sacred spot.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Basilica of San Clemente
From here, the coach will whisk you within sight of the Colosseum, to the Basilica of San Clemente. To descend below this structure is to move backwards through time. You’ll travel through the remains of 12th and 4th century basilicas, a 2nd century cult temple and ruins dating as far back as AD 64, when Emperor Nero watched the city burn. Incredibly, the ruins include an aqueduct that still works, after lying buried for centuries.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Catacombe di Santa Domitilla
Duration: 5 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
Museum and Crypt of Capuchins
Your final destination is the Capuchin Crypt. Capuchin monks used the bones of nearly 4,000 of their brothers to decorate this somber space in intricate floor-to-ceiling designs, lending it the macabre nickname of ‘the Bone Chapel’. Your guide will tell you the theories, but it’s up to you to draw your own conclusions about the meaning of the crypt’s robed skeletons and vertebrae chandeliers. Open your eyes to the city’s hidden side – and you’ll never see Rome the same way again.
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Included
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • A dress code is required for entry into some of the sites on this tour. Knees and shoulders must be covered
  • No photos can be taken inside the venue during the tour
  • Please note this tour involves a fair amount of walking, as well as a large number of stairs, comfortable shoes are recommended
  • Near public transportation
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This activity is not suitable for people who suffer from claustrophobia
  • Not recommended for those who are effected by claustrophobia
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 22 travelers

Cancellation policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.Learn more about cancellations.

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